I was so thrilled to be asked to take part in the Cocowawa Honeycomb dress blog tour earlier this year. Ana of Cocowawa Crafts is such a nice person and I had been admiring her patterns for a while, so of course I said I could take part. One thing that sets Cocowawa apart is her beginner friendly video and blog tutorials which walk you through the pattern step by step.
Midi dresses and ruffles have been a huge fashion trend recently. I have an & Other Stories print dress in this length which I really love. Ganni and Sezane are two high end brands which have a lot of dresses in this length too. Of course, I can’t usually buy from the high street because the fit is all wrong for a 5’2″ woman (although extra length on a midi is not usually a bad thing in modest fashion terms!).
Sezane Cora dress
& Other Stories Shoulder Frill Midi
Ganni Midi Dress
& Other Stories Current Season
I wanted to add a ruffle hem to this dress and then realised the design of the bodice is perfect for adding a frill between the side and front bodice pieces. I just eyeballed both the ruffle hem and bodice ruffle pieces and cut them. The dress length was 26.5″ for the main piece and the ruffle was 8.5″ in height.
The fabric is from Seasalt Cornwall and is a beautiful shade of blue with a small scale print. It is a more classic print and colour than I would normally choose so I wasn’t completely sure it would work and not look too ‘Downton Abbey’! The fabric is a cotton viscose twill, which is an interesting fabric to work with. It has a nice drape but is more substantial than pure viscose. It was also more prone to fraying and pulled threads would result in a white line appearing in the fabric, but this only happened once or twice.
I cut a size 10 as the bodice is a loose fit. Thanks to the bows, you can cinch in the waist as much as you need to to get a good fit. The construction of the bodice is very clearly explained in the pattern instructions and is very clever. I reduced the length of the bodice by about an inch.
I decided not to do the bows on the sleeves for a couple of reasons. One is that I am notoriously clumsy and would end up trailing them in some soup or curry and that would be the end of my pretty dress! The other reason is that as Muslims we have to wash before prayers up to the elbows and I thought that bows would be too fiddly to keep undoing and retying. (For the same reason I avoid making any sleeves that are very tight at the wrists!) They are a really nice detail to add though.
I decided to do a button on the cuff instead. For this, I used the pattern piece provided to make the sleeve bows and measured the width I wanted it to be around my wrist (plus seam allowance). I then followed the folding instructions and gathered my sleeve to the exact length of the piece I had made and sewed it on as per the instructions. I did have quite a lot of trouble getting my machine to sew buttonholes through five layers of fabric on the cuffs, and ended up having to redo one as I accidentally ripped through the buttonhole!
Overall its a very versatile pattern which could be used to make different styles of dress, depending on your fabric choices. It is a great pattern for increasing your skills in making buttonholes, a yoke (which is really fun to make!) and collar. There are some beautiful versions on Instagram which you can see using the hashtag #cwhoneycombdress for more inspiration. Please make sure you check Cocowawa Crafts for more beautitul patterns!